knives in a block

You may wonder which kitchen knives should you put in a block or which knife block should you get? Is it even worth it? Well, to start, selecting the best knife block involves more than just aesthetics; it's about efficiency and matching your kitchen needs. 

Whether you're an avid cook or enjoy hosting, there's a knife set to enhance your cooking and dining experience. Remember, the best knives feel right in your hand and meet your everyday needs without clutter.

In this article:

Looking for more knife expertise? Read our What Are The Best Kitchen Knives blog, or browse all our Kitchen knives or shop knife block storage here.

Become a kitchen knife expert, with our Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives.

Should I buy a kitchen knife block?

Yes, if you value organisation and care for your knives. A knife block keeps blades sharp and ready. It’s a practical choice for any kitchen.

Here are six reasons why everyone should have a knife block in their kitchen:

  1. Protects knives. A block safeguards the blades. It prevents them from banging against other utensils, keeping them sharper for longer.
  2. Saves space. By holding multiple knives, a block conserves precious drawer space. It keeps your countertop neat and your knives within reach.
  3. Hygienic reasons. Storing knives in a block reduces the risk of cross-contamination compared to a drawer where knives may mix with other utensils.
  4. Variety of sizes. Blocks come in many sizes, offering slots for different knives. This variety ensures you have the right tool for every task, from slicing bread to chopping vegetables.
  5. Aesthetic appeal. Knife blocks can be stylish additions to your kitchen. They come in various materials and designs, from classic wood to modern stainless steel.
  6. Safety reasons. A block reduces the risk of accidents. Retrieving a knife from a block is safer than rummaging through a drawer.

    What are the different types of knife block?

    Sous Chef knife buyer Kristin shares what she looks for in a knife block - and explains the different types to choose from. She says: At Sous Chef we have a few different types of knife block: magnetic, classic, flat and decorative… Here are the different types of knife block I think are best.

    • Magnetic knife blocks hold your blades against the wood where you can still see them. These are absolutely stunning to look at. But also a great choice for convenience and hygiene. It’s easy to see which knife you’d like in an instant. Plus there's no risk of crumbs gathering in deep knife holes.
    • Our flat knife blocks are made from beech wood, and feature 11 places for your kitchen knives. You can either put this flat knife block in a drawer, or keep it on the countertop.
    • We have some extraordinary decorative knife blocks. Including the totally spherical walnut knife block from Breka. This elegant wooden knife block has 12 storage slots and really makes an impact in the kitchen!

    Buy the best knife block

    Choose the right knife block for you, with our summary of what makes each one so special:

    Opinel Parallele 5 Piece Knife Block Set

    • Opinel Parallele 5 Piece Knife Block Set - It's a great entry level knife block that includes all the knives you need, and will also help you find your favourite type of knives to potentially expand your collection if you are unsure of where to start.

    Laguiole en Aubrac Classic Knife Block of 6 Kitchen Knives, Juniper

    • Laguiole en Aubrac Classic, Juniper - This set is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. Juniper handles add a rustic charm. Each knife is a piece of art - bulit from start to finish by a single artisan knife maker. Perfect for those who appreciate beauty and function.

    Laguiole en Aubrac Classic Knife Block of 6 Kitchen Knives, Mixed Woods

    • Laguiole en Aubrac Classic, Mixed Woods - Wow - what a beautiful knife block. This set of knives will cover almost all everyday preparation in your kitchen, while looking stunning on display. Featuring juniper, olivewood, walnut and other wooden polished handles, these knives are timeless. You’ll be using them for years to come.

    Laguiole en Aubrac Gourmet Knife Block of 6 Kitchen Knives, Mixed Woods

    • Laguiole en Aubrac Gourmet, Mixed Woods - These knives are not just tools; they’re treasures. Mixed woods mean each piece stands out. And the handle shape is tapered, to sit comfortably in smaller hands. Or you may prefer the shape for the way you hold knives.

    Laguiole en Aubrac Classic Knife Block of 6 Kitchen Knives, Ebony

    • Laguiole en Aubrac Classic, Ebony - Elegance in black. Ebony handles make this set a statement piece. The magnetic oak wood block makes a stylish display for this brilliant starter knife set. 

    Messermeister Avanta 10 Piece Knife Block Set

    • Messermeister Avanta 10 Piece Block Set - Comprehensive and sleek. The Messermeister Avanta knife range design was inspired by one of the leading culinary schools in America, to create a knife range that was not only of the highest quality and performance, but that could withstand all the demands of a bustling cookery school. 

    Messermeister 8 Piece Knife Block Set

    • Messermeister 8 Piece Block Set - Streamlined and essential. Messermeister’s Oliva knives are made of 1/4116 stainless steel, which has a high carbon content meaning they are incredibly hard wearing and resistant to corrosion. Made in Solingen, Germany – which is world-renowned for quality stainless steel – these knives rank a high 57-58 on the Rockwell scale.

    Which knives should you have in a block set?

    Selecting the right knives for your block set can transform how you cook. Let’s explore the essential types for any kitchen.

    • Chef's Knife Your go-to tool for most tasks. It chops, dices, and slices with ease. Think of it as your kitchen’s best friend. Its versatility makes it a must-have.

    • Paring Knife  Small but mighty. Perfect for peeling fruits or trimming vegetables. Its precision is unmatched for detailed work.

    • Bread Knife.  With its serrated edge, it glides through crusty loaves. No squishing, just perfect slices. It’s also great for soft fruits like tomatoes.

    • Utility Knife.  The middle child between a chef's and paring knife. Ideal for tasks that are too big for a paring knife but too small for a chef's.

    • Carving Knife.  Sunday roasts need this knife. It slices meat smoothly, ensuring neat, even slices. Essential for holidays and family dinners.

    • Santoku Knife.  Originating from Japan, it’s designed for precision cutting. Great for slicing, dicing, and mincing, especially for fish and vegetables.

    • Boning Knife.  It's a sturdy blade that debones meat cleanly. A game-changer for making your own fillets or preparing meat.

    • Fillet Knife.  This knife has a flexible blade. It’s perfect for fish, removing skin and bones with finesse.

    • Cleaver. For those tougher tasks. It chops through bone and hard vegetables like a champ. Not for everyday use, but invaluable when needed.

    • Steak Knives. Often overlooked but crucial. They make dining more enjoyable, cutting through meat effortlessly.

    • Kitchen Shears. Not a knife, but deserving of a spot. They snip herbs, open packages, and even cut through bone.

      How to clean a kitchen knife block

      Keeping your knife block clean is as crucial as maintaining your knives. Here’s a straightforward guide to ensure your block is as spotless as your cutlery.

      1. Empty the block. Start by removing all knives and accessories. This exposes the slots, ready for cleaning.
      2. Shake out crumbs. Turn the block over and shake gently. Crumbs and debris will fall out. For stubborn bits, use a hairdryer on a cool setting to blow them out.
      3. Vacuum the slots. Use a vacuum with a hose attachment. It’s effective in removing remaining crumbs from deep within the slots.
      4. Clean with a mild soap solution. Mix a little dish soap with warm water. Dip a small brush (a bottle brush works well) in the solution. Scrub each slot individually to remove grease and residue.
      5. Disinfect. After soap cleaning, it’s time to disinfect. Mix equal parts water and white vinegar. Dampen a cloth with the mixture and wipe the exterior. For the slots, use a slim, dampened brush.
      6. Air dry completely. Moisture is the enemy. Ensure the block dries thoroughly before replacing knives. Air drying is best, preferably overnight.
      7. Consider monthly maintenance. Repeat this process monthly. It keeps the block in top condition, preventing mould and bacteria buildup.
      8. Oil wooden blocks. If your block is wooden, treat it with a food-grade mineral oil after cleaning. This maintains the wood’s integrity and prevents cracking.
      9. Store knives dry. Always dry knives before returning them to the block. This minimises moisture introduction, keeping the block cleaner, longer.
      10. Check for wear and tear. Regularly inspect the block for damage. Cracks or splits can harbour bacteria. Replace if necessary for safety and hygiene.


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